Steak and Kidney Pie

Beef kidney can take far more cooking than other kinds. Its chief duty is to give a good rich flavor, as it does in good old steak and kidney pie or pudding. I really prefer the pie, as I find the pudding’s suet crust too heavy and soggy, even done by the lightest hand.

You need to have been out on the moors all day to really deserve this pie. So here goes.

Ingredients

  • 8 oz rough puff pastry (made or bought)
  • lb rump or round steak
  • 8 oz beef kidney, skinned and with inside fat removed, chopped into chunks
  • 2 tbsp all-purpose flour well-seasoned with salt and pepper
  • 1 large onion, sliced
  • 4 tbsp butter
  • 1 tbsp oil
  • cups red wine or beef stock, or the two mixed
  • A bouquet garni of bay leaf, parsley stems, and thyme
  • Beaten egg, to glaze

Method

If making the pastry, do so first and leave it to rest in the refrigerator. Cut the meat across the grain into 2- by 1-inch strips. Put the flour into a plastic bag, and shake the meat and kidney in it until evenly coated.

Fry the onion in the butter and oil until browned, then remove from the frying pan with a slotted spoon onto a plate. Fry the meats in the same pan, browning rapidly on all sides, then transfer to a 1-quart deep-dish pie dish. Pour the wine and/or stock into the frying pan and bring to a boil, stirring and scraping the pan for any juices. Season to taste, and pour over the steak and kidney. Mix in the onion and place the bouquet garni in the center.

Roll out the pastry until slightly larger than the top of the pie dish. Cut strips from the edge, dampen the rim of the dish, and cover with the strips of pastry. Dampen this pastry border, then lay the piece of pastry over the whole dish. Trim the edge with a sharp knife, and flute with a fork’s prongs. Decorate at will with any pastry trimmings, and brush all over with beaten egg. Make slits in the pastry to let steam escape.

Place low (third or fourth shelf down) in a preheated oven at 475°F and bake for 15 minutes. Lower the heat to 375°F and place a sheet of wet parchment paper over the pastry. Bake for a further 1¼ hours. If necessary, add hot stock to the pie after cooking by pouring the hot stock through the slits in the pie crust.

Remove the parchment paper, and serve the pie with buttered carrots, peas, and maybe mashed potatoes.